A lot has been happening for our team lately. Namely, we dropped off the racecar in South Florida for its next steps toward completion. It has seemed like the list of roadblocks has been neverending, but I know that each step gets us one step closer, so I continue on relentlessly each day.
With my new job, I don’t have any vacation time off yet, so even though South FL is quite the hike from my current N. AL residence, the earliest I could leave was Friday afternoon after work. When I came home to hook up to the trailer, I discovered that the trailer lights were not working. So Porkchop and Skippy tried for several hours to find the culprit wire that was shorting out the entire system. Finally, around 9pm they got the fix. That’s 4 hours of roadtime lost, and it meant me driving straight through the night to stay in my time constraints. Thankfully, I was able to convince Porkchop to abandon his weekend plans and help me make the drive down. (what a nice guy!)
Our first stop was Jacksonville, FL to pick up Horsepower & Heels teammate Debbie. The plan had been for me to crash there for the night around 2am, but with my trailer nightmare, we arrived instead at 6:30am. A brief nap, and the three of us were on the road to South FL. About 20 minutes into the trip, we hit rain so hard we couldn’t see 10 feet in front of the truck. After some tense moments, we were finally out of the storm and passing through Daytona Beach. It reminded me that its been several YEARS since I enjoyed a REAL vacation… and how crazy my racing life has become that all my regular vacation time is rationed throughout the year to allow me working my butt off from one racetrack to another. Somedays I long to leave this crazy obession behind for a nice trip to a cozy little tropical island…. but then I remember that the sacrifices I make are all for my absolute passion and well worth it.
So we made the drop off and got turned back around at 4pm towards our 3rd stop on the tour… my mother’s house. Nevermind that Orlando is about an hour off-course, if that little 76 year old spitfire would’ve found out that her little one was in FL and didn’t come see her, I would be a dead little driver. But first, I had two passengers in the truck about to throw me out the window if I didn’t stop and get them food. So on the exit to Hwy 520, I see a sign for Olive Garden and decide that some Italian sounds good. Thinking that it would be just a few tenths of a mile off the interstate, I make the turn off and head toward where the sign pointed.
About 10 miles, 2 bridges over the Intercoastal, and a bunch of tight spots, we managed to find the Olive Garden and I get the trailer parked. Its packed, so the three of us sit at the bar as Debbie entertains us with stories about her past. Despite having less than 3 hours sleep, we manage to eat and make it to my mom’s before 10pm. After a far too brief visit there, we still have another 2 1/2 hours back to Jacksonville. We arrive exhausted around 1:30am. That’s more than 24 hours straight that Chop and I have been in a truck, and an impressive 14 hours for stir-crazy Debbie. (and she’s gonna be my traveling partner to the races? Whew… better break her in easy while I can.)
Now I managed to post a life best sleep in record of nearly noon… normally, I can’t sleep that long regardless of my level of sleep deprivation. So after a brief brunch…(can you still call it that at 1pm?) at my all time favorite (and sorely missed) restaurant, Bob Evans, we make the drive home.
We rolled into Grant at midnight Sunday night. I was also quickly assured that the next time I asked for a small “favor” and offered an exciting trip to FL in return, that the answer was definitely NO.